New Delhi: Lawyer of now-defunct Gitanjali Gems’ owner Mehul Choksi on Thursday said that state-owned Punjab National Bank had intentionally “destroyed” the brand in an attempt to divert attention from their own mistakes.
Alleging missteps on the part of PNB the lawyer said, “Gitanjali Gems was cynically destroyed by the PNB in an attempt to divert attention from their own wrong-doings.” Citing the credentials of the brand he added, “With the revenue of over Rs 12,000 crore, the debt-to-EBITDA ratio maintained by the Gitanjali was among the best in the industry. Notwithstanding the company’s strong balance sheet and a stellar track record of loan repayments, in February 2018, prompted by allegations by Punjab National Bank, investigating agencies raided and seized Gitanjali assets.”
He further said that several entreaties on the part of the brand’s promoter Mehul Choksi fell on deaf ears. “The one thing I want to ask everyone who has accused me is even if I were guilty, why did no one even try to save Gitanjali, a company with Rs 12000 crore of annual turnover, 6,000 employees and countless honours in its name?” promoter of the brand Mehul Choksi said. Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are key accused in Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case. They fled the country a year ago. Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018.